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Meetings in English: Rescheduling and Discussing Change

Welcome to another Conversation Club Session by MPEC!

Today’s topic is highly relevant: “Meetings in English: Rescheduling and Discussing Change.” Whether you’re coordinating with local teams or navigating international time zones, the ability to smoothly reschedule and adapt to changes is crucial. In today’s session, you’ll get to practice idiomatic expressions, phrasal verbs, and real-world language skills, all while discussing this key aspect of business English.

Prepared for you by: My Personal English Coach

5 Idioms for today’s topic:

  1. Jump the gun 🏃‍♀️ – Acting too soon
    Example: Let’s not jump the gun and reschedule the meeting without everyone’s approval.
  2. Beat around the bush 🌳 – Avoid talking directly
    Example : Stop beating around the bush and say what changes you want in the meeting.
  3. Cut to the chase ✂️ – Get to the point
    Example : Let’s cut to the chase; we need to reschedule the meeting.
  4. Play your cards right 🃏 – Handle a situation well
    Example : If you play your cards right, everyone will agree to the reschedule.
  5. Tip the scales ⚖️ – Make a significant difference
    Example : Your input could tip the scales in favour of changing the agenda.

5 Phrasal verbs you may need:

  1. Call off – To cancel something
    Example : They had to call off the meeting due to a sudden emergency.
  2. Put off – To postpone
    Example : We put off the meeting until next week.
  3. Wrap up – To conclude
    Example: Let’s wrap up the meeting by summarising the key points.
  4. Weigh in – To give your opinion or advice
    Example: Please weigh in on the changes we are proposing.
  5. Chime in – To add one’s voice or opinion
    Example : Feel free to chime in if you have any suggestions.

Round 1 – Let’s Warm Up

  1. Have you ever had to reschedule a high-stakes (important) meeting? How did you handle it?
  2. What strategies do you use to approach a discussion about significant changes in a meeting?
  3. How do you keep track of frequently changing meeting schedules?
  4. How do you handle time zone differences when rescheduling international meetings?

Round 2: Role Play 1

What’s your go-to phrase for bringing up a need for change in a meeting agenda?

Use your favourite expression or start with a phrase we suggested at the bottom of the page to reschedule one of the 4 Business Scenarios.

Round 3: The Final Role Play

Rescheduling With Conflicting Agendas

Student A: You are a project manager who had scheduled a meeting for the 15th of October at 3:00 PM to discuss an upcoming product launch. However, you just received an email stating that you have a mandatory company-wide training session at that same time.

Student B: You are a team leader invited to the same meeting. You had blocked off your calendar for the meeting, but just realised you have an appointment with an important client at 4:00 PM on the same day, making it difficult to attend the meeting and reach the client’s office on time.

Role Play Guidelines

  1. Student A starts the conversation by proposing to reschedule the meeting due to the sudden company-wide training.
  2. Student B acknowledges and explains your own scheduling conflict.
  3. Both discuss alternative dates and times.
  • Student A: Suggest the 16th at 10:00 AM.
  • Student B: Say you’re busy that morning but free after 2:00 PM.
  1. Come to a mutually agreeable solution, taking into account the need for the meeting to happen before the product launch.
  2. Confirm the new time and date before ending the conversation.

This role-play will give you the chance to practise discussing schedule changes, which is a crucial skill in any professional setting.

Remember – there is always more! Here is your Follow Up Video:

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